The year began with a flurry, especially as we had the responsibility of organizing the IWD Luncheon in March as well as planning our programme for the year. Our Secretary, Marjorie Wood has been kept busy arranging speakers for our monthly meetings as well as performing many administrative duties. .
Even though our membership numbers are down, we are encouraged by having four new women join in recent months. Attendances at meetings have been between 22 and 27 with 30 + at our June Luncheon. We mourn the loss of life member, Rose Gallagher and member Beverley Pavey. Some members were able to attend their funeral Services. We congratulated our member, Mrs. Dianne Sackelariou OAM, on being honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her service to the community through OXFAM, Mental Health and a wide range of activities including fundraising.
Our speakers at our meetings have been varied and interesting. Margaret Groenewegen, Vice President, spoke at the February Meeting about her work with children. Margaret received the Marlene Goldsmith award from the Women’s Justice Association for her work among women and children In March Robyn Gaspari, President of the Australian Women’s Coalition, spoke about problem solving which was a challenge. We had an innovative meeting in April when Mignonne Murry of ‘Tribes & Nations’ told us about how she and her husband started their Fair Trade business and brought along some goods for us to buy. Liz Wynn of Share Life spoke to us in May about organ donation, which led to lively discussion. The June Luncheon was a very happy occasion with our Chinese food being a highlight. Karen Miller of the Benevolent Society, gave a very informative talk about the work of the Society which began in 1813. We had our usual raffle and trading table. In July we were almost spellbound as Daphne Lowe Kelly spoke about Chinese relationship and tourism. Her own family history and information about Chinese settlement in Australia was very interesting. Other activities have included three Luncheons at Parliament House, the first being the Australia Day Function ‘Celebrate Being an Australian’. Joan Elliston’s granddaughter sang the National Anthem and ‘We Are Australian’.
In April some members attended the WCTU Luncheon which marked the winding up of the organization and setting up of a Foundation to carry on the work. We were well represented at The Jean Arnott Memorial Luncheon in May where 40 + women over 90 were honoured. A few members attended the NCW Foundation Day Luncheon on 6th August.
PPSEAWA NSW members attended a number of functions organized by our Corporate Members or other Women’s organisations. They included:
- Dedication Service of the Uniting Church Adult Fellowship
- Girl Guides Forum at which the C E O World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Mary McPhail spoke of the Association’s initiative for girls of the world.
- QUOTA IWD Breakfast
- Girl Guides NSW AGM at Glengarry.
- National Council of Jewish Women of Australia NSW’s Transcultural Interfaith Event
- Dedication Service for the Australian Church Women
- NSW Peak Women’s Organisation event. Topic: Strategies For Women’s Health
- Launching of Book by Aziza Abdel-Halim AM “Did You Know” which explains the position of women in Islam.
Joan Elliston and Joan Egan are our delegates to National Council of Women.. Joan Elliston is on the Executive Committee and attended the mid-term Conference where Joan supported eighteen resolutions on our behalf.
We have been delighted to have a role in helping Mary Cabrera get ‘Platters for Peace’ up and going, and now we are putting on our ‘thinking caps’ to plan a project relating to gender equality and empowering women. Finally, a big thank you to the Executive and all members for their hard work and support.